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Solntsev And The Reform Of Icon Painting

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Chapter Summary

During a lifetime that spanned the nineteenth century, Fedor Solntsev played a leading role in the study, preservation, and restoration of Russias cultural legacy. One aspect of Solntsevs creative biography, though, that remains largely unknown is his effort to reform the painting of icons through a class he taught at the St. Petersburg Orthodox Theological Seminary. The icon is a visual or visible Gospel, and nothing should be imagined or invented. Within the Orthodox Church, religiously themed paintings are allowed only as frescoes or murals, but the icon is not a painting to be looked at, it is a ritual object to be prayed at. Prince Gagarin was a prominent and highly respected dilettante, having acquired his knowledge of art from his long stays in Europe.

Keywords: Fedor Solntsev; icon painting; Prince Gagarin



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